Legal History

Owing to longstanding links between the Corcoran Department of History and the Law School, UVA is one of the nation’s premier centers for legal history. We have a large group, with depth in U.S. law and unusual range covering law’s history around the world. Members of our community study everything from crime in colonial Virginia and slaves’ use of the law to the Civil War and civil rights. We write about the law of piracy in the Mediterranean and legal relations across the Indian Ocean. Some of us explore colonial and post-colonial legal regimes from India to Mexico; others study modern human rights. We also contribute our scholarship to resolving current legal controversies. Our JD/MA program in legal history allows graduate and law students to share their distinct perspectives in their courses and outside of them. Two other activities bring us together. Our Legal History Workshop draws scholars from beyond UVA to discuss their scholarly work with us. More informally, we gather in a Legal History Writing Group to share writing in progress.

Graduate Student


Assistant Professor, History, Rouhollah Ramazani Assistant Professor of Arabian Peninsula and Gulf Studies
Nau 253
Office Hours: On leave Fall 2019-Spring 2020; by appointment
Themes: Economic History & History of Capitalism, Empire & Colonialism, Legal History, Spatial History, Frontiers, & Migration, Transnational and Diplomatic History
Nau 238
Office Hours: T/Th 11:30am-12:15pm, 1:45pm-2:15pm, & by appointment
Themes: Economic History & History of Capitalism, Legal History, Race & Ethnicity
Arnold H. Leon Professor of Law and Dean of the School of Law, Professor of History
Law WB 389
Office Hours: F 12:00 - 1:30
Themes: Cultural and Social History, Labor History, Legal History, Race & Ethnicity
Julian Bishko Professor of History, Professor of Law
Nau 454
Office Hours: Mon. and Weds., 1:15-2:30; and by appointment
Themes: Empire & Colonialism, Legal History, Material Culture, Transnational and Diplomatic History
Hill Edwards
Assistant Professor
352 Nau Hall
Office Hours: Tuesdays, 10:00am - 12:00pm, and by appointment
Themes: Economic History & History of Capitalism, History of Slavery, Legal History, Race & Ethnicity
Associate Professor
Nau Hall 436
Office Hours: W 1:00-3:00, F 11:00-12:00 & by appointment
Themes: Cultural and Social History, Legal History
John B. Minor Professor of Law and Professor of History
361 Law
Office Hours: N/A
Themes: Intellectual History & History of Ideas, Legal History